Friday, November 28, 2014
|**Bobwhite was a college guy who sat next to me in my creative writing class. The only thing that made Bobwhite the College Guy angry was people who believed in absolutes. He made this declaration with absolute certainty.|
It was a declaration that made me mildly uncomfortable because I, of course, only believe in “absolutes.”
I absolutely believe that certain teenagers who tell you that they are “ready and able” to drive the family van, will, in fact, run that van off the road at fifty-miles per hour through a barbed wire cow fence—at the first available opportunity causing $4,123.13 in damages and an ulcer epidemic among the adults in the family.
I absolutely believe that two-year olds, left on the back porch by themselves, when told not to eat the dog food, will eat the dog food after soaking it in the dog’s water.
I absolutely believe that college students, who do not pay taxes, car insurance, or their own meal allowances, are excited about the re-distribution of wealth—mostly other people’s.
Bobwhite believed that human beings didn’t even know why they did what they did, but after they did it, they try to figure out why they’ve done what they did, so they’ll know stuff about why they do what they did for future doings.
I don’t pretend to understand that sentence.
He also believed that human beings are motivated to do what they do by chemicals, genetics, and reality television. He also believed (with no apparent historical precedent) that the future looked brighter than the past, because of all the information available on-line, of course. If we can just stuff enough information into people, they will not want to rip-off the old folks pension plans.
I remain skeptical—also menopausal. I believe that thieves with a lot of education are just educated thieves or politicians.
Bobwhite’s basic premise was that human beings without education or Google Earth have no ability to exhibit will power or self-control above that of the average poodle.
Wanting to put his theory to the test, I asked him, “Do you mean to tell me that if I get the urge to smash your head in with a brick, it won’t be my fault, but a combination of menopausal hormones, urban blight, and Irish angst.”
Bobwhite said, “Exactly.”
When I get into these deep philosophical discussions at school the other students sit in a semi-circle starring at me to see if I will stroke out.
Turning to the semi-circle of my fellow students, I said, “Girls, go get me a brick. I want to test out Bobwhite’s theory.”
I was serious.
Oh, those college kids are so adorable, but they’ve got a lot to learn. It’s true that the two-year old will eat the dog food, but she won’t eat it forever. It’s also true that teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to drive until they’ve joined the Army or the Peace Corp. And college kids eventually become taxpayers and want to know, “Who the heck is this FICA guy?”
The truest absolute of all is that the fuzzy thinking of the young and freshly educated will sharpen right up as soon as someone they are closely related to decides it’s a hilarious idea to drive around town with a fake bomb in the trunk of the family car.
Linda (Absolutely Me) Zern
** Name has been changed because I am not an absolute dweeb.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Linda Zern's book, Mooncalf, was a very enjoyable read. I take pleasure in historical fiction. Not growing up in Florida, I was able to learn a bit more about this magnificent state that we live in and it's southern roots in a much more vivid way than from a text book. Her descriptions were lively. The many ways that just the Orange groves and it's treasures and findings are brought to life from a child's eyes are enchanting and even startling at times.
Also, each character has very distinct traits that help them be brought to life. I enjoyed figuring out the characters instead of being 'told' how they were. As a mother, I especially felt for Leah's mom and thought about how abandoned she must have felt.
This is a special story because it's two in one, bonus!! It puts a new thought process into reading, challenging us just enough. Being told from two completely different life styles between children's innocent eyes is refreshing. Adults make things that should be so simple, like true friendship, more difficult than they should be because they think 'they know best.' How wrong we can be.